One of the highlights of being a City of Derby parent is watching your child swim their heart out at galas and enjoy time with their swimming friends. The meets are often crowded and busy days with lots of emotions on display from both the pool deck and the stands. We appreciate your encouragement and support for all of the swimmers and know they love to look up at the end of a race and see you there, cheering them on. We are also aware parental pressure for achieving ‘perfection’ rarely has long-term benefits for either the swimmers results or their enjoyment of the sport, so please acknowledge and look for the great positive in every race, no matter what the result – a great turn or finish is just as worthy of praise as a medal, but sometimes harder to achieve. As a coaching team we encourage parents to have conversations with their swimmers about the feedback on their races, the elements they have used from training and where they can improve, rather than their ranking, time or position of the swim.
Read and communicate meet specific information to your swimmer as required. This mostly includes times for warm ups (including pre-pool activities), focuses for the competitions and any other requirements from coaches. This information can be found on the blog prior to a meet.
If possible pack them a copy of the races you’ve entered (including their times), this makes sure your swimmer is well prepared and gives them personal responsibility. It’s really helpful if you can explain to your child the importance of following the instructions from the team managers and coaches on poolside. This helps the team ensure your child is safe, as both they and your child know where they should be at any time.
Your swimmers will also spend a large proportion of time out of the pool so its important to pack enough to keep them entertained, well fed and hydrated. Please speak to your coach about appropriate nutrition for meets, and ensure that all of their belongings including clothes and kit includes their name- this helps them take responsibility for their own kit and increases the likelihood of lost items finding their way back to you. A book or a handheld games console can help your swimmer switch off, keeping them fresh for racing.
It is important that swimmers are at the meet before the session warm up so that Team Managers and Coaches know they are present for races and your swimmer is relaxed and ready for the day ahead.
Our Coaches and Team Managers take over your role of safeguarding when you hand over your children at the start of the day. Essentially, this means making sure your swimmer is safe, happy to swim and focused on their races. Even though you are not poolside you have a vital part to play in supporting the club achieve these simple aims.
When you hand over the care of your child to us, you:
- Allow your child to remain poolside with us throughout the event – the only people allowed around swimmers are those who have been trained, approved and with a specific role on the day. Please respect that this is a core part of our Child Protection policy. We are usually identifiable by our Club/ Officials tops.
- Agree to obtain the consent of a member of the poolside team if you wish to go to and see your child /leave the event before it ends. There are stewards & health & safety officers all around the pool that can help you get in touch.
- Are free to leave the venue but if you choose to do this, our poolside team need to
- know about this and
- Have a contact number for you.
- Explain & encourage your child to inform a member of the poolside team if they need to leave the deck for whatever reason such as to speak to yourself, go to the toilet, or view photos taken at the events.
- Agree to be there at the right time to receive your child & all their kit when the gala finishes. Lots of parents do a bag check in reception /boot of the car. It’s amazing what does & doesn’t get packed when a gala ends.
Finally, your swimmers behave as you do and follow positive behaviours such as treating everyone with respect and being polite to all. Parents are expected to behave responsibly as a spectator at all training sessions, events and activities, and treat members, coaches, committee members and parents of other members of any aquatics organisation, with due respect. While not relating to our our club, there have been occasions where swim parents have used social networking sites to criticise or verbally abuse an organisation, its officers, officials, coaches, teachers, and/or members in an inappropriate and unacceptable manner. This has led to the person who is the subject of the abuse to take action through statutory agencies or statutory legislation to address the comments made.
Celebrate the positives but if you have a concern please let the appropriate team members know – if you are not sure email our Welfare Officer (Dani Lee) firstname.lastname@example.org . A member of the coaching team or committee will be able to help with your issue, but only if we know about it!
We are a friendly, family-centred club and will always do our best to deal with any concerns you have. Above all please remember swimming is after all, a fun healthy activity for your children to enjoy, the rest is a bonus!